The 6th Film from PJ Harvey’s Let England Shake has been released. The 12 films made by Seamus Murphy set out to capture and interpret the idea of England. The film focuses “on the sound of the song itself which has a melancholic, tragic lilt to it, like a resigned love song of acceptance.”
Seamus Murphy on England:
As with some of the other films openings, I asked someone to speak the lyrics of the song. Rather than try to interpret too much or too literally the idea of England, which is vaguely what all 12 films are about, I focused on the sound of the song itself which has a melancholic, tragic lilt to it, like a resigned love song of acceptance. And like all the other films, the images come from observations made on the road. The archer I found in a field I was driving past, the parrot was in a great dock pub in Birkenhead-across the Mersey from Liverpool. The pubs here used to be full of parrots from sailors returning home from the tropics, and this one’s party piece was to shout “twat” in thick scouse. Bobby Moore and the World Cup in 1966 was in a kebab place in Southend, the white haired man is a charismatic horseman from Norfolk. Shooting Polly up close physically, allowing her to move in and out of focus was something we both liked, it lent an intimate and raw feel. The audio of the Arab woman singing that ends the film was the original ending of that piece of music, but edited out for the album.